Orange Beach, Alabama, USA 1-15-19

7 of the Best Places for Snorkeling in Alabama

Alabama’s turquoise-blue waters along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico are ideal snorkeling locations. The weather in Alabama is perfect for snorkeling too, although in the winter months, you might need a wetsuit. As you snorkel along you’ll see stingrays, crabs, jellyfish, octopi, saltwater catfish, butterfly fish, sea turtles, damselfish and much more. So, strap on a mask and a pair of fins, as here are some of the best places for snorkeling in Alabama.

7 of the Best Places for Snorkeling in Alabama

1. The Whiskey Wreck – Gulf Shores

The Whiskey Wreck is a shore dive from Gulf Shores. The wreck is a 200-foot rum runner boat in less than 20 feet (6 metres) of water. You’ll find it just past the sandbar. Visibility usually ranges from 10 to 15 feet. The site is home to vibrant marine life and cool hidden crevices making this a rather thrilling snorkeling session.

2. Romar Beach – Orange Beach

For a glimpse of life under the Gulf of Mexico waves, head to Romar Beach on Orange Beach. Here you’ll find an artificial snorkeling reef, also known as a circalittoral reef. This concrete and limestone reef system is home to various parasitic and nautical marine life that live, play and feed in the area. The beach is located 6.8 miles east of Highway 59.

3. The Jetties at Alabama Point – Orange Beach

Alabama Point Jetties offer an interesting dive right off the public beach. Located at Orange Beach, the jetties are rock and concrete structures that protect Perdido Pass from the tides and currents of the Gulf of Mexico. Whilst snorkelling here, you’ll see a wide variety of marine life that call these shallow waters home. The marine life you may encounter at the Alabama Point Jetties include crabs, encrusted molluscs, Black Sea urchin, alewives, pinfish, an array of juvenile fish species, minnows, mullet, rainbow wrasse, banded butterflyfish, damselfish, belted sandfish, octopus, stingrays, horseshoe crabs, sea nettle jellyfish, and possibly sharks.

4. Paddle Wheeler – Gulf Shores

Discover an abundance of marine life at the Paddle Wheeler, a sunken paddle-wheel-propelled boat. This shallow water site is located west of Lagoon Pass and provides an interesting hideaway for underwater creatures which are begging to be discovered. The Paddle Wheeler has the shallowest waters for snorkeling with a depth range of 8 to 20 feet. Marine life abounds at Paddle Wheeler because not many people actually visit this site.

5. Poseidon’s Playground – Gulf Shores

Located in Gulf State Park Pier, Poseidon’s Playground is a fun snorkeling site that features statues of Poseidon, Venus of the Sea and Apollo, as well as a table-like grouper reef topped with marine life ornamental images. The reef also includes handprints of actors Nicholas Cage and Cody Walker (brother of the late Paul Walker) and film director Mario Van Peebles. This underwater playground is situated just 40 feet (12 metres) beneath the surface. The site is located south of Perdido Pass on the eastern edge of the R.V. Minton Artificial Reef Zone.

Orange Beach, Alabama, USA 1-15-19

6. Perdido Key Snorkel Reef – Orange Beach

Perdido Key Snorkel Reef, just outside of Orange Beach waters, is an artificial reef with a depth of roughly 12-15 feet, with the reef modules sitting approximately 6-8 feet below the surface. The average visibility at this site is 10-20 feet, but it is best to visit this site when the sea conditions are calm, as visibility can increase to 30 feet. The site is home to many species of tropical fish as well as sea turtles.

best places snorkeling Alabama
By Reefmaker – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

7. Gulf State Park Pavilion – Gulf Shores

In Gulf State Park, you can access an artificial reef at the Pavilion site. The Pavilion is an uncrowded, natural beach with gorgeous sand dunes and sea oats. This safe and calm site is perfect for beginners and younger snorkelers. Here, you’ll discover a wide variety of marine life, including octopus, crabs, worms, saltwater catfish, and an array of juvenile fish species. It is located six miles east of Highway 59.

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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